How I Use It
Our book club used this site to create book trailers. While the site does include music and pictures you can use for free, it may not be exactly what your students want to use. This would be a great time to talk about copyright permissions. While the finished products cannot be displayed on your school website or social network site, they can be shown through news programs, daily announcements, etc. if you school has them.
This site is a great way to create simple videos to share--and includes all elements--songs, images, text features, etc.
To get a free account, educators need to sign up for an Animoto Plus account. You can apply easily--but it may take a few weeks to hear back about your special code to access your account. This is not a last minute type of subscription. You would need to plan out your project well in advance in order to set up your account properly. Also, each educator is limited in the number of student accounts that can then be created. There are also restrictions as to how the student accounts can be set up. Finally, in the terms of service, it states that in "supervising the students, you will ensure the students will not publicly display, distribute or otherwise share the videos, e.g. through social networking or other public web pages."
While I did give this a recommended rating, I think there are other programs that allow you to create similar projects without as much fuss.